Stethoscope: Who Invented, Types, Applications

A stethoscope is a medical instrument used to listen to sounds produced within the by, mainly in the lungs or heart. The French physician R.T.H. Laennec invented the stethoscope in 1816 at the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris. In 1819, described the use of a perforated wooden cylinder that could transmit sound from the patient’s chest to the physician’s ear.

A stethoscope usually has a small resonator that is placed against the skin, with two or either one connected to the earpieces.

It also listens to the sounds created by blood flow in veins and arteries. Moreover, a stethoscope is usually used to measure blood pressure by combining it with a manual sphygmomanometer.

The name stethoscope was given by Laennec, which means “chest scope.” He called its use “mediate auscultation,” as it was mainly auscultation with a specific tool intermediate between the patient’s body and the physician’s ear.

The most important parts of a stethoscope are the bell, the smaller concave part with a hole, and the diaphragm, the larger and flatter side of the chest piece.

The diaphragm helps to receive sound within the body. Stethoscopes have become the mark of the status of doctors and nurses. Medical students usually get familiar with using it during the medical faculty.

Types Of Stethoscope

There are different types of stethoscopes, such as:

  • The traditional acoustic.
  • Amplifying.
  • Digitizing.

The Following Are Some Examples Of A Stethoscope.

There are various types of examples of a stethoscope, such as:

Acoustic: These can function on the transmission of sound from the chest piece through air-filled hollow tubes to the ears of the listeners.

Electronic: An electronic stethoscope can overcome low sound levels by amplifying the body sounds electronically.

Recording: These types of stethoscopes can feature direct audio output that can be used with a certain external recording device, like an MP3 recorder or laptop. This same connection can be used to listen to the auscultation recorded previously through the stethoscope headphones.

Fetal: A fetal stethoscope, also known as a fetoscope, is an acoustic stethoscope that looks like a listening trumpet.

Doppler: This type of stethoscope is an electronic device that can measure the Doppler effect of the ultrasound waves that are reflected from a patient’s body organs.

3D-printed: A 3D-printed stethoscope is an open-source medical device created for auscultation and developed through 3D printing.

Esophageal: Before the year 1960s, the esophageal stethoscope was an important part of routine intraoperative monitoring.

Applications Of A Stethoscope

There are different types of applications for a stethoscope, such as:

Calculate Blood Pressure: Doctors need to use a stethoscope to calculate the patient’s blood pressure. Doctors need to attach the pressure cuff on the upper arm and place the stethoscope under it to listen to the brachial artery’s heartbeat.

Measuring Liver Sounds: With the help of a stethoscope, a doctor can detect the size of the patient’s liver.

Determining Lung Sounds: As stethoscopes can read the patient’s heartbeat, they can check if the patient’s heart is beating correctly.

Detecting Bowel Sounds: Doctors can check irregular bowel sounds with a stethoscope to determine the patient’s ailment.

Congestive Heart Failure: If the lung and heart are making improper sounds, then it might be a sign of congestive heart failure. Thus, doctors use stethoscopes to uncover the cause of those irregular sounds.

Checking Recover Rate: Doctors can check the healing rate of patients with the help of stethoscopes.

So, we have discussed some important factors about a stethoscope that can help you.

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